This animation is an old one, but I'm rerunning it in honor of the article out in Nature today about an antibiotic that is crushing all sorts of nasty drug-resistant bacteria. Super scary MRSA? Check. Mycobacterium tuberculosis? Uh huh. Even the bacteria that causes pneumonia (or ammonia, as I sadly heard it referred to recently by a healthcare worker). Because of the unique mode of action of the antibiotic, it is unlikely to lead to resistance, and indeed was unable to yield drug resistant strains in a laboratory test. I would love to go more into it; it's a great story. Maybe the next The Short Answer.
For now I'll just cross my fingers that teixobactin makes it through the safety studies in humans and is on the shelves before my sons start playing organized sports. Every time I hear about MRSA in locker rooms I want to hide all of the sports equipment. "What's that? Oh I thought you said Mathlete. Soooorry."